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The Chicago Ensemble's 45th Anniversary Begins With Two February Concerts

The Chicago Ensemble's 45th Anniversary season and return to live performances begins in February, featuring the works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

The Chicago Ensemble's 45th Anniversary Begins With Two February Concerts

The Chicago Ensemble's 45th Anniversary season and return to live performances begins in February, featuring the works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St. and Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022 at 3 p.m. at International House, 1414 E. 59th St.

Single tickets are $35 and include light hors d'oeuvres, wine and other beverages available a half hour before the performance. Artistic Director Gerald Rizzer provides an informal commentary before each piece, heightening the intimacy of the chamber music. Single tickets and discounted season subscriptions are available at TheChicagoEnsemble.org.

The Chicago Ensemble opens its season with piano trios by the three great composers of the Classical period, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven with long-time colleagues, who have been performing for 20+ years together, Stephen Boe, violin; Andrew Snow, cello; and Gerald Rizzer, piano, performing the trios. Haydn wrote about 30 piano trios. The discrepancy between the catalogue number that Hoboken lists (14) and Robbins-Landon lists (27) reflects the more recent scholarship of Robbins-Landon. Any devotee of Haydn's music may recognize in this trio the originality of themes, imaginative turns of phrase and ventures into unexpected keys the marks of a composer who, like Verdi, had started out good, and then got better and better through a long creative life. Mozart's life was regrettably half as long as Haydn's. Notwithstanding his prodigious output in a short lifetime, he wrote just a handful of piano trios. This one stands out for its melodic beauty, even measured against other works by this great melodist. Beethoven first planned to study with Mozart. Upon Mozart's premature death, Beethoven studied instead with Haydn. A brash young man, Beethoven denied that Haydn's teaching was influential, yet one finds in this piece, written years after Beethoven studied with Haydn, the older master's signature variation form: two themes, rather than one, of extremely contrasting character, then presented in alternating variations. This is not to deny that Beethoven, by the time he wrote this masterpiece, had become a pathbreaker on the way to Romanticism.

February Concert's Program:

F. J. Haydn: Trio in Ab Major, Hob. XV:14, RL 27 for violin, cello and piano

W. A. Mozart: Trio in E Major, K. 542 for violin, cello and piano

L. van Beethoven: Trio in Eb Major, op. 70 no. 2 for violin, cello and piano

Upcoming Events from The Chicago Ensemble:

Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 3 p.m. at International House, 1414 E. 59th St.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St.

This program reflects characteristics of the ensemble's ventures into atypical repertoire: Beethoven's own transcription for clarinet, cello and piano of his Septet, a transcription which the composer made because of the popularity of his Septet; the German Romantic composer Max Bruch's pieces for clarinet, viola and piano, quite Brahmsian in style; Paul Hindemith's compelling Duet for viola and cello, dating from 1934 and Czech composer Karel Husa's Evocations de Slovaquie, a 1951 composition in the manner of Bartók's Eastern European folk-influenced music. Performers joining artistic director/pianist Gerald Rizzer are Elizandro Garcia-Montoya, clarinet; Sixto Franco, viola; and Mara McClain, cello.

Paul Hindemith: Duet (1934) for viola and cello

L. van Beethoven: Trio in Eb Major, op. 38 for clarinet, cello and piano (composer's transcription of Septet, op. 20)

Karel Husa: Evocations de Slovaquie (1951) for clarinet, violin and cello

Max Bruch: Selected Pieces, op. 83 for clarinet, viola and piano

45th Anniversary Celebration:

Saturday, March 12, 2022

The Chicago Ensemble celebrates its 45th anniversary with an exciting and unique format - Classical Music JukeBox. Celebration attendees may drop a "nickel '' into the TCE Classical JukeBox and choose from 12 listed pieces to hear that selection played live at the celebration. This unique format brings a new experience to audience participation creating a more personal experience. The 45th Anniversary Celebration is $120 per person and Jukebox Selections are an additional $50 each. TCE invites all to come join the fun celebrating this hidden gem in the Chicago music scene.

Visit the TheChicagoEnsemble.org to learn more.



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